Birmingham City and Sunderland ‘take advantage’ of FA rule change with audacious transfer swoop

The latest Championship transfer news as Birmingham City and Sunderland fight for a Dutch defender’s signature, aided by an important FA decision.
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Birmingham City and Sunderland are reportedly set to let battle commence for Hoffenheim defender Melayro Bogarde, continuing the trend of overseas additions.

Both Blues and the Black Cats have already delved into the foreign market this transfer window and they are set to do so yet again, following a decision from the Football Association.

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It was announced last week that an agreement had been reached between the FA and the Home Office to allow English football clubs to sign up to four non-visa-qualifying players.

This means that even those who don’t meet the visa entry requirements can still be signed, with the ‘up to four’ covering the 2023/24 season in its entirety.

Birmingham signed Japanese winger Koji Miyoshi last week, whereas Sunderland captured PSV youngster Jenson Seelt. And there could yet be more signings from the nearby continent.

Football Insider claims Blues and Sunderland are “plotting moves” for Bogarde, as the Dutchman is “allowed to leave on a free transfer” even despite having a further 12 months to run on his contract.

Bogarde played four times in the UEFA Europa League throughout the 2020/21 season.Bogarde played four times in the UEFA Europa League throughout the 2020/21 season.
Bogarde played four times in the UEFA Europa League throughout the 2020/21 season.
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The 21-year-old is seemingly surplus to requirements in Germany after playing just 17 senior matches for Hoffenheim. He also made over half a century of youth appearances but hasn’t done enough to warrant a contract extension.

Bogarde went out on loan to Dutch Keuken Kampionen Divisie side PEC Zwolle for the second half of last term and made his mark with 12 appearances and one assist.

A new challenge now awaits the versatile former Netherlands U21 international, who can play anywhere across a back four, as well as in midfield or as a wing-back.

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